Friday, 31 March 2017

Flowery Language



I like a good idiom. It provides an imaginative and visual element to otherwise dull writing. It has limited use in business writing but it is an important part of how people speak in normal daily life, and, when spoken, some shorthand writer somewhere may have to write it down and read it back, without being floored by an unusual or figurative use of words. Being a gardener as well as a shorthand devotee, I have decided to grasp the nettle and indulge in a few botanical figures of speech*. After all, a tree is known by its fruit and budding shorthand writers* who decide to turn over a new leaf, turf out the longhand, weed out their mistakes and put down roots into their chosen subject, will soon get to the top of their tree.

"floored" i.e. brought to the floor. Not to be confused with "flawed" which means having a flaw/defect/fault. The outline for "flawed" has no R in it = FL + D.

*“Figures of speech” Only use the omission phrase for the singular “figure (of) speech”

* Omission phrase “short(hand) writers”


However, with all the theory learning, they might not see the wood for the trees, but if they refuse to let the grass grow under their feet, they will find that it all becomes as easy as falling off a log. It may not be all roses, and friends may say that they are wandering up the primrose path or barking* up the wrong tree. But flourishing shorthand students* will not beat about the bush, they will nip in the bud all such nonsense from those who seem to have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. They will not really care a fig for such comments and will not tolerate such thorns in the flesh, although they will continue to hold out the olive branch to these men of straw, who are really just reeds shaken by the wind.

* "barking" Not tree bark, but refers to dogs barking at a tree in which their quarry is hiding

* Omission phrase “shorthand s(t)udents”


They do not allow themselves to become a wallflower, but instead they blossom out and let their success spread like weeds, and end up being the pick of the bunch and the cream of the crop. They made a decision to go out on a limb, at first working against the grain, with the old deep-rooted  longhand trying to lead them up the garden path, but the new way of writing took root and eventually they feel they are out of the woods. You may hear through the grapevine that the seeds of doubt that were sown were found to be not worth a straw. After their study they hit the hay, sleep like a log and rise in the morning as fresh as a daisy.


Nevertheless, one must not* rest on one’s laurels, or one may find oneself* clutching at straws in a test, shaking like a leaf and well and truly up a gum tree. An exam is not the place to be rooted to the spot and making a mistake* that turns out to be the last straw.  It is best to avoid* a big stick policy and instead choose the more pleasant route of taking a leaf out of the instructor’s book, leafing through the dictionary and the notepad, instead of just exclaiming Whoops A Daisy and kicking problems into the long grass. After all, it’s a jungle out there in the job market and employers are looking for more than just the common or garden variety of worker.

* must not” “mistake” These omit the T

* oneself” Omits the N

* “avoid” and “evade” Always insert the second vowel, as these are similar in outline and meaning


The best shorthand students* are not lily-livered or shrinking violets and no-one could call them a clod when it comes to getting down all the flowery speech. Their shorthand is in the bloom of youth and with practise it has become as easy as shelling* peas. Even if they are a late bloomer, it will be many decades before they run to seed, get put out to grass and start pushing up the daisies. On the contrary* they are on their way to reaping a rich harvest. They have finally found out that not only is the grass greener on the other side*, but they are now in clover and what seemed like a bed of thorns has turned into a bed of roses. (655 words)

* Omission phrase “shorthand s(t)udents” “on (the con)trary” “on the oth(er) side”

* “shelling” Compare with the noun “shilling” which uses the upward Shel stroke